South Sudan and Uganda have agreed to exempt their citizens from visa requirements when traveling to both countries, the South Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
Weeks ago Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs, said that Kampala would no longer have a visa requirement for South Sudanese to enter Uganda as long as they have valid passports and meet other health requirements for travelers.
Ms. Kadaga said Uganda had given the South Sudanese authorities 30 days to confirm that it would return the gesture, otherwise Kampala would reverse its decision.
In a letter of reply from The East African , the South Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation welcomed the initiative on Saturday.
“We welcome the decision of the sister government g of Uganda to adopt the entry visa requirement for citizens of the South Sudan with effect from October 1, 2021.
“In accordance with the principle of reciprocity, the South Sudanese government today [Friday] the Ministry of Interior through its Directorate for Nationality, passports and immigration instructed to waive the entry of visas for all Ugandan nationals with valid passports, ”the letter says.
According to the ministry, the circular will come into force on October 4, 2021 .
Since independence in 2011, the South Sudanese have paid the mandatory visa requirement of $ 50 to enter neighboring Uganda. Refugees were exempt.
South Sudan is also a member of the regional trade bloc EAC, which includes Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.
At the end of July Kenya and South Sudan agreed to to waive the visa requirement for citizens traveling to one of the two countries.
The EAC customs union signed by the member countries allows unrestricted cross-border movement of goods and people, but this has not been fully implemented by some member countries .